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|Other name||Adams-Clay Republicans|
|Leader||John Quincy Adams|
|Preceded by||Democratic-Republican Party|
|Merged into||Whig Party|
The National Republican Party, also known as the Anti-Jacksonian Party, was a political party in the United States that evolved from a faction of the Democratic-Republican Party that supported John Quincy Adams in the 1824 presidential election.
Known initially as "Adams-Clay Republicans" in the wake of the 1824 campaign, Adams's political allies in Congress and at the state-level were referred to as "Adams's Men" during his presidency (1825–1829). When Andrew Jackson became president, following his victory over Adams in the 1828 election, this group became the opposition, and organized themselves as "Anti-Jackson". The use of the term "National Republican" dates from 1830.
Henry Clay served as the party's nominee in the 1832 election, but he was defeated by Jackson. The party supported Clay's American System of nationally financed internal improvements and a protective tariff. After the 1832 election, opponents of Jackson coalesced into the Whig Party. National Republicans, Anti-Masons and others joined the new party.
Before the election of John Quincy Adams to the presidency in 1825, the Democratic-Republican Party, which had been the only national American political party for over a decade, began to fracture, losing its infrastructure and identity. Its caucuses no longer met to select candidates because now they had separate interests. After the 1824 election, factions developed in support of Adams and in support of Andrew Jackson. Adams politicians, including most ex-Federalists (such as Daniel Webster and Adams himself), would gradually become members of the National Republican Party; and those politicians that supported Jackson would later help form the modern Democratic Party.
After Adams's defeat in the 1828 election, his supporters regrouped around Henry Clay. Now the "anti-Jackson" opposition, they soon organized as the National Republican Party. Led by Clay, the new party maintained its historic nationalistic outlook and desired to use national resources to build a strong economy. Its platform was Clay's American System of nationally financed internal improvements and a protective tariff, which would promote faster economic development. More important, by binding together the diverse interests of the different regions, the party intended to promote national unity and harmony.
The National Republicans saw the Union as a corporate, organic whole. Hence, the rank and file idealized Clay for his comprehensive perspective on the national interest. Conversely, they disdained those they identified as "party" politicians for pandering to local interests at the expense of the national interest. The party met in national convention in late 1831 and nominated Clay for the presidency and John Sergeant for the vice presidency.
Formation of the Whig Party
The Whig Party emerged in 1833–1834 after Clay's defeat as a coalition of National Republicans, along with Anti-Masons, disaffected Jacksonians and people whose last political activity had been with the Federalists a decade before. In the short term, it formed the Whig Party with the help of other smaller parties in a coalition against President Jackson and his reforms.
|Election||Ticket||Popular vote||Electoral vote|
|Presidential nominee||Running mate||Percentage||Electoral votes||Ranking|
|1828||John Quincy Adams||Richard Rush||43.6||
83 / 261
|1832||Henry Clay||John Sergeant||37.4||
49 / 286
|Congress||Years||Senate||House of Representatives||President|
|19th||1825–1827||48||26||22||—||—||213||104||109||—||—||John Quincy Adams|
- Brown, Thomas (1985). Politics and Statesmanship: Essays on the American Whig Party. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 20. ISBN 9780231056021. OCLC 906445960.
- "Party Division". United States Senate.
- "Party Divisions of the House of Representatives, 1789 to Present". United States House of Representatives.
- Adams won election as a Democratic-Republican, but he sought re-election as a National Republican.
- Michael F. Holt. The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War. New York. Oxford University Press. 1999.
- Carroll, E. Malcolm. Origins of the Whig Party. Durham, NC. Duke University Press. 1925.
- Robert V. Remini. Henry Clay: A Statesman for the Union. New York. W. W. Norton and Co. 1992.